Saturday, 23 February 2019

Unboxing my Husqvarna 145c

Ooops, I bought a new sewing machine this week. I blame my sister who took me to the Husqvarna store and pointed out that my old sewing machine was 19 years old, and maybe it was time to think about a new one. Of course once I had tried a new machine I couldn't resist buying it.

My choice of machine is the Husqvarna Viking 145c.

I chose Husqvarna because we have a proper store in town, and the owner is great with repairing, maintaining and generally helping out with machines. For an investment like this it feels a lot better to buy it, and support, a physical specialist store compared to a webshop. I've had my old Husqvarna for 14 years so I feel comfortable with them, and I know that Husqvarna is a high quality brand.  I also like that I my old special presserfeet are compatible, even if they are not ideal, with the new machine.

Now the Tribute itself is a limited edition. It was made for Husqvarna's 145th anniversary, hence the name. It is basically a Husqvarna Opal 670, with a different design on the outside. Great for me since the colour scheme for the Tribute goes really well with my sewing area, while the Opal would have clashed.

The opening of the box

The machine is packed with both plastic and styrofam, and there's a cardbox package with some of the smaller things.

The cardboard box contained the cords, the button hole maker, tools like a seamripper, screwdriver, brush and so on, underthread spools and an extra package of presser feet (I will come to them)

The sewing machine comes with a hard protective case. It definitely felt heavier than my old machine when I lifted it up to from the box.

There was more styrofoam and the foot pedal inside the hard case.

Here is the machine with everything unpacked. 

It has the full instruction booklet, but also a small quick guide to threading the maching. The presser fee included are A,B,C,D,E,J and a mini heirloom kit with a gathering foot, a clear piping foot and a braiding foot. I am really excited about these three presser feet, the gathering and piping feet has been on my wish list for a long time. I think they will be really fun to work with when I make 19th and early 20th century clothes.

The box for the accessories is big and roomy, but it is only one compartment. My old machine had two, a top one for the presser feet and everything else was in the bottom. Now it feels like everything gets thrown and it will be harder to find the presser feet when you need to change.

This is a digital machine with a big display. The display feels quite intuitive to find your way around. All the symbols above tells you what you need to do when sewing. You have to choose your material and technique, and then it recommends needles, presserfeet preassure, choice of presserfoot and the square about the HA means that I should use some kind of interfacing.

I had to try one of the many decorative stitches, and tried to program it to write my name.

Except for me not using an interfacing and managing to write the name backwards it was heasy an the seam looked nice. I definitely have to work more with this to finetune it.

Overall I am excited about this machine even if I expect there to be a learning curve to really finetune it.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Enfys Nest cape

I have finished another piece for Enfys Nest. In my last post about the cape I had made a pattern and cut out the lining. Click here for that part.

After the lining I ordered the outer fabric. I picked a black wool broadcloth. It's one of the cheapest on the Swedish market, and I would definitely not use it for historical costumes. It shed quite a lot of colour, it's piling and I have black fluff from it everywhere. It's perfect for the worn look of a space pirate though. The problem with the pattern though was that it was made for a fabric that was 150 cm wide, and the wool was 135. I solved it by turning the fabric, but it definitely led to some fabric waste.

Below are my main references for the cape.

Once I had cut out the pieces I sewed the outer fabric together and I attached the lining and the outer fabric by sewing them together at the neck. I then pinned the seams together so that the fabric wouldn't shift and I added a facing of the outer fabric to the edges and to the neck.

The facing at the edges is slipstitched to the lining. For the neck I sewed it by machine, it's not going to be visible anyway. After that I hemmed the whole cape. The original cape doesn't have a deep hem or hem facing, so I simply folded the lining and outer fabric towards each other and then slipstitched them in place.

Along the edges there is also a strip of fabric. I think it's suede so I used the same faux suede that I will use for her long tabards.

It's sewn on by machine at the front, since the reference photo has a clear seam line in the middle of the facing. I used light coloured thread for the upper thread and black thread for the underspool.

The other side of the suede strip was folded down and slipstitched in place.

This is the inside of the finished cape.

This is the outside of the finished cape. The suede is a lot darker in real life, it really picks upp the light when I try to photograph it.

This is the cape hanging on my mannequin. A very big advantage with this style of cape, rather than a cape that is just gathered at the neck, is that it hangs naturally from the shoulders. Of course it will be different when I move, but it will make it a lot easier to attach it to the rest of the costume, when the attachment won't have to carry the full weight.

I also just tested to throw my fur on over the cape. The original costume used buffalo hide, from the front of the buffalo. I don't have access to any buffalos so I have bought an icelandic sheepskin with long hair.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Enfys Nest gloves

I finally have a finished piece for the costume and it's the gloves.

The base for the gloves is a pair of 5:11 TAC A2 gloves, as used for the film costume.

For the modifications I used this as a reference.

It shows a round black solid circle on the left hand and a black circle, with a cut-out middle, edged in brown. Some people in the Enfy Nest group claim that strap with the 5.11 text is covered in leather and that the grips on the inside are ripped off, but I've kept them. I haven't seen evidence of that myself yet.

This close up from the Enfys Nest standee clearly shows the circle edged in brown.
My circles are made with faux suede that I've painted with acrylic paint, black for the main parts and brown for the edging. It's still soft and it really gives it a leatherlike apperance. I'm really happy with that. The white paint on the fingers is also acrylic paint.

I've handsewn the patches onto the gloves, so I wouldn't have to rip them up.

I will probably try and weather the patches a bit, they look a bit too fresh at the moment, but that will have to wait until I weather the whole costume.